Top 10 Greatest Entrepreneurs of All Time

Employment is a big issue when recession strikes. But there are some legendary companies which are built by great entrepreneurs who gave jobs to people for decades and have taken care of their families. Famous people such as Larry Page & Sergey Brin, Jim Clark, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, Jamshedji Tata, and Elon Musk are also some of the other greatest entrepreneurs who need special credit. We could have included J. P. Morgan in this great list but he had few very unsuccessful ventures. When J. P. Morgan died, he left back a mere “US$80 million” as his fortune.

Here is a list of top 10 greatest entrepreneurs of all time who built companies which revolutionized various industries with their innovative ideas and gave employment opportunity to various set of people all over the world:

10. John D. Rockefeller

John D. Rockefeller

John Davison Rockefeller Sr. was an American business tycoon in the oil industry. He is also considered as the wealthiest American of all time. Rockefeller controlled 90% of all oil in the whole of United States. The Supreme Court of U.S ruled against Standard oil because of violation of anti-trust laws and the company was split into 34 different entities, which included ExxonMobil, Chevron, etc. These individual companies made him a fortune and in 1913, Rockefeller was America’s first billionaire worth $336 Billion, nearly 2% of US economy.

9. Andrew Carnegie

Andrew Carnegie

Andrew Carnegie was a Scottish American business tycoon who specialized in the steel industry of America. Most of the iron and steel operations in the United States were under the control of Carnegie. He proposed a cheap and efficient way to mass produce steel by adopting Bessemer process which was one of his innovations. Carnegie Steel Company was later sold to J.P Morgan in 1901 for $480 million and it later went on to become the U.S Steel Corporation. After the sale, Carnegie became the richest man of America surpassing John Rockefeller.

8. Thomas Alva Edison

Thomas Alva Edison

Thomas Alva Edison was an American inventor and a legendary business person and known for his famous light bulb invention, but very few know his business side. He holds 1093 U.S patents and in the other countries like UK, France and Germany as well. Edison’s General Electric is still considered to be one of the high revenue making companies of all time. The term R&D (Research and Development) was introduced by Edison when he combined innovation with the process. His other patent apart from bulb includes sound recording and motion pictures.

7. Henry Ford

Henry Ford

Henry Ford was an American industrialist who specialized in automobile and assembly line. During Ford’s period, the cars were only meant for the rich. Ford saw an opportunity here and made cars affordable for the middle class Americans. He also had a newspaper called The Dearborn Independent and a book named The International Jew. Ford’s first invention was the ‘Ford Quadricycle’ which was a self-propelled vehicle, when he was an engineer at the Edison illuminating company. After getting appreciation from Edison, Ford built his second vehicle which he completed in 1898.

6. Charles E Merrill

Charles E Merrill

Not many know about Charles Merrill, but he is considered as one of the unsung heroes of Finance in America. Merrill was a stock broker where he co-founded his company Merrill Lynch with his friend Edmund Lynch. He anticipated the 1929 stock market crash and sold many of his holdings. Investment in shares was only for the rich back then, but Merrill made sure that every American citizen got education about shares. He held seminars for wives and husbands of America and educated them in investments, marketing strategies and sales.

5. Sam Walton

Sam Walton

Sam Walton is the retail king and the founder of retail giant Walmart. The first Walmart retail outlet became operational on July 2, 1962 in Arkansas. His priority with Walmart was to promote American-made products. His efforts included in supplying American made products to foreign countries from American manufacturers for a much lower price than the local competition. Instead of opening Walmart branches in cities, Walton decided to open in smaller towns making people buy items in a much discounted price. This model proved to be profitable for Walmart and the rest is history.

4. Madam CJ Walker

Madam CJ Walker

Madam CJ Walker is the first black female self-made millionaire of America. She was even the ‘world’s most successful female entrepreneurs’ in her time. CJ specialized in the beauty industry and built beauty and hair products for black women. In the 1880s, Americans lacked indoor plumbing, central heating and electricity which contributed to the hair loss of many. CJ sensed an opportunity and learnt about hair care from her brothers who were barbers. This led to ‘Madame C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company’ which made her fortunes.

3. Walter Disney

Walter Disney

Walt Disney, as he is known was an American entrepreneur, animator and voice actor. The world-famous cartoon character ‘Mickey Mouse’ was his creation. When most of the America was busy watching normal movies, here was an innovator who was thinking about cartoons. Disney himself became the voice of Mickey Mouse which many do not know. Steamboat Willie became the first sound cartoon which earned Disney a contract with Universal Pictures. Snow White was his next big hit which became the most successful motion picture of 1938. The movie brought him a fortune of $6.5 million.

2. William Gates

William Gates

Bill Gates, an American technology business tycoon and co-founder of world’s largest PC software company Microsoft. Gates was the individual largest shareholder of Microsoft until 2014. As of November 2016, he is the richest person in the world netting $81.7 billion. A philanthropist by nature, Gates has invested in his foundation called Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which was found in 2000. Founding for scientific research programs happen through this foundation. Gates stepped down as CEO of Microsoft in the year 2000.

1. Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs


Steve Jobs is my personal favorite among all. Another technology mogul of America who envisioned a company building revolutionary products that changed the lives of common people all around the world. Macintosh is one such example which became the face of Apple and is still one among the operating systems with the highest ratings in the world. Jobs became the largest shareholder in Disney through Pixar. In 1986, Pixar was born after the acquisition of computer graphics division of Lucasfilm, Ltd by Jobs. Pixar produced Toy Story which made fortunes for Steve Jobs. The introduction of iPod and iPhone made him the best innovator of his generation.